Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…
The 2013-14 campaign was Mikhail Grabovski’s chance to prove that the Toronto Maple Leafs were wrong to give up on him. It didn’t work out the way he wanted, although it wasn’t a disaster either.
After Toronto used a compliance buyout on Grabovski in the summer of 2013, the forward ranted that head coach Randy Carlyle is a “[expletive] idiot” that didn’t support him and subjected him to fourth-line duties. His agent chimed in that the Leafs “mismanaged him,” but he was upbeat after signing a one-year deal with Washington.
Things couldn’t have started better as Grabovski scored a hat trick in his debut en route to recording 11 goals and 30 points in 38 games through December. However, he went cold after that and his struggles in the second half of the season were further exasperated by ankle problems. By the time the season was over, he had 35 points in 58 contests.
Despite his hot-and-cold campaign, the lack of skilled centers on the free agent market works in Grabovski’s favor. He would like to re-sign with the Capitals though, per the Washington Post.
He’s reportedly hoping to land a four or five-year deal that would pay him in the range of $5 million annually. That would be in line with the five-year, $27.5 million contract Toronto used a buyout to get out of.
In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.
For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.
Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.
Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.
They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.
Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.
Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.
The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.
To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).
Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:
Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):
McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: